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Mises Institute

The Mises Institute, founded in 1982, teaches the scholarship of Austrian economics, freedom, and peace. The liberal intellectual tradition of Ludwig von Mises (1881-1973) and Murray N. Rothbard (1926-1995) guides us. Accordingly, we seek a profound and radical shift in the intellectual climate: away from statism and toward a private property order.

Articles by Mises Institute

Should the State Support the Arts?

2 days ago

Ought the state to support the arts?
There is certainly much to be said on both sides of this question. It may be said, in favor of the system of voting supplies for this purpose, that the arts enlarge, elevate, and harmonize the soul of a nation; that they divert it from too great an absorption in material occupations; encourage in it a love for the beautiful; and thus act favorably on its manners, customs, morals, and even on its industry.
It may be asked, what would become of music in France without her Italian theater and her conservatoire; of the dramatic art, without her Théâtre-Français; of painting and sculpture, without our collections, galleries, and museums? It might even be asked, whether, without centralization, and consequently the support of the fine arts, that exquisite

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An Autoethnographic Account of the Free Market: My Father

2 days ago

Instead of approaching the free market abstractly, in this short series, I’ll approach it from the standpoint of my own experience. In short, I’ll treat the free market in an autoethnographic account. Autoethnography is just what the word suggests: it is a genre of ethnographic writing and research that connects the personal to the cultural, placing the self within a social, historical context. For the Marxists who may by chance read this essay, one might think of it in terms of what the Italian Marxist Antonio Gramsci referred to as a means to knowing oneself as a product of history1—although I do not subscribe to the belief that we are merely historical products.
As we approach Mother’s Day, ironically, I want to trace some of my memories of my father. My mother is living, at ninety-six

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Thanks to Covid Stimulus, Employers Can’t Find Workers. Montana’s Governor Is Having None of It

3 days ago

By: Alice Salles
Montana governor Greg Gianforte has had enough of President Joe Biden’s covid relief bills. Instead of paying people to stay unemployed, he’s giving them a bonus for finding work.

After scrapping what he called the “impractical government mandates” imposed by former governor Steve Bullock in 2020, businesses in his state were still struggling.

We got rid of hours of operation, capacity limits. We got rid of our statewide mask mandate. We put lawsuit protection in place for businesses and nonprofits. And now, as we have opened up, employers can’t find workers. It’s across all industries. Restaurants are having to shut down for days because they can’t find cooks or wait staff.

Addressing the media, Gianforte said that because the federal government extended unemployment

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Rothbard on the Betrayal of the American Right

3 days ago

America’s “Old Right”—rooted in 19th century liberalism but birthed in the 1930s to oppose the New Deal—was strongly laissez-faire and non-interventionist. Murray Rothbard wrote the comprehensive story of that movement, it’s influences and influence, and its destruction at the hands of Buckleyite Cold Warriorism. Modern conservatism sadly bears little resemblance to the Old Right, and America is worse off for it.
Dr. Patrick Newman and Tho Bishop join the show to dissect the book, which is both a critical history and a fascinating political memoir of Rothbard’s own journey to libertarianism.
Read this historic work at Mises.org/Betrayal
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An American Classical Liberalism

3 days ago

Every four years, as the November presidential election draws near, I have the same daydream: that I don’t know or care who the president of the United States is. More importantly, I don’t need to know or care. I don’t have to vote or even pay attention to debates. I can ignore all campaign commercials. There are no high stakes for my family or my country. My liberty and property are so secure that, frankly, it doesn’t matter who wins. I don’t even need to know his name.
In my daydream, the president is mostly a figurehead and a symbol, almost invisible to myself and my community. He has no public wealth at his disposal. He administers no regulatory departments. He cannot tax us, send our children into foreign wars, pass out welfare to the rich or the poor, appoint judges to take away our

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Decentralization and Political Satisfaction

3 days ago

By: Kyle Ward
As the State grows larger and more centralized, combat in the political arena will grow more desperate and extreme because there is more to be won and lost in each conflict. The States are trapped in an unhealthy relationship that deteriorates more each day. Rioting and looting have become acceptable responses to injustices both perceived and real. The Capital is walled off and surrounded by military personnel. As dire as the situation is, the solution is both obvious and simple: a breakup. The Mises Institute features numerous articles and podcasts on the ethical and philosophical arguments supporting radical decentralization. This article supplements those arguments with an analysis of the 2016 Presidential election to show that local elections lead to happier citizens.

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Social Media’s Algorithms Aren’t Really Controlling You

3 days ago

Senator Josh Hawley’s just-published The Tyranny of Big Tech (Regnery, 2021) raises important issues. Hawley asks, for example, Do Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube censor views that that their managers do not like? It seems clear that the answer is yes. Many people who have tried to post Facebook comments that criticize the “official” line on covid-19 have had their posts removed and have been sentenced to “Facebook Jail.” YouTube removed a popular video by Tom Woods that argues lockdowns and masks are ineffective. What, if anything, should be done about this? Hawley notes also that these media giants often rely on government aid to enhance their power. Hawley embeds his discussion in a larger argument about independence and self-government in the American tradition, which I think is

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Due Process on Campus Keeps Justice on the Streets

3 days ago

Politics moves from campus to Main Street. The next political attack is likely to be on due process—the foundation of Western justice itself. Much depends on which side of the current debate on campus sexual misconduct hearings wins. Does a person accused of sexual misconduct deserve due process in the investigation and hearing that determine his future? Or are traditions like a presumption of innocence and the right to cross-examination merely a way to retraumatize a “victim” who should be automatically believed and shielded? It comes down to individual rights versus social justice.
The conflict has a long and ideological past, which revolves around title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972; this measure prohibits schools that receive federal funds from sexually discriminating.

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Charlie Munger’s Oddly Desperate Attack on Bitcoin

4 days ago

By: Connor Mortell
Recently, Berkshire Hathaway Vice Chairman Charlie Munger spoke vehemently against bitcoin and other cryptocurrency claiming that “I don’t welcome a currency that’s so useful to kidnappers and extortionists and so forth, nor do I like just shuffling out of your extra billions of billions of dollars to somebody who just invented a new financial product out of thin air.” This sentence, right off the bat, both summarizes his issues with cryptocurrency and contains the major flaws that make his criticisms wrong.

First and foremost is the obvious hypocrisy of the first half of that claim. The US Dollar is almost equally useful to kidnappers and extortionists as is bitcoin. “Satoshi Nakamoto” created bitcoin only as recently as 2009, and last I checked, kidnapping and

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The State of Modern Economics

4 days ago

Peter G Klein is Carl Menger Research Fellow of the Mises Institute and W.W. Caruth Chair and Professor of Entrepreneurship at Baylor University’s Hankamer School of Business. He is also senior research fellow at Baylor’s Baugh Center for Entrepreneurship and Free Enterprise and adjunct professor of strategy and management at the Norwegian School of Economics. His research focuses on the economics of entrepreneurship and business organization, with applications to innovation, regulation, and economic growth. Klein has authored or edited five books and has published over seventy-five academic articles, chapters, and reviews.
JEFF DEIST: Let’s start with the general state of the economics profession. What’s changed since you were at Berkeley earning your PhD in the early 1990s?
PETER KLEIN:

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Joe Biden, Stock Market Hero

4 days ago

By: Robert Aro
The CNN headline news article says it all:

Biden at 100 days: Hottest stock market since JFK

Sounds like quite the accomplishment! As reported, the S&P 500 is up a whopping 8.6% since Biden took office, the largest gain since 1961. This was much larger than Biden’s predecessor, who only managed to see a 5% gain in his first 100 days in office.

CNN went as far as quoting Randy Frederick, vice president of trading and derivatives at Charles Schwab, who said:

There is a belief out there, that is absolutely incorrect, that markets do better under Republicans. It’s completely wrong.

The article goes on say that Wall Street approves of Biden’s attempt to “corral the Covid-19 crisis and stimulate the economy,” and that:

the historic gains at the start of the Biden era

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The US Recovery Is Weak, Especially Given the Size of the “Stimulus”

4 days ago

It seems that governments want to convince us that they have saved the world when the reality is that the misguided lockdowns were the cause of the economic debacle and lifting them is the main cause of the recovery. 
Original Article: “The US Recovery Is Weak, Especially Given the Size of the “Stimulus”??”
This Audio Mises Wire is generously sponsored by Christopher Condon. Narrated by Michael Stack.

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Three Reasons Why the Biden Tax Increase Makes No Sense

4 days ago

Anyone who believes the “rich” and large corporations will pay for $28 trillion in debt or the $2 trillion in new deficit has a real problem with math.
Biden’s announcement of a massive tax increase on businesses and wealthier segments of the population simply makes no sense. The tax hikes will have a significant impact on economic growth, investment, and job creation and do not even scratch the surface of the structural deficit. Even if we believe the gross domestic product growth and revenue estimates announced by the Biden administration, the impact on debt and deficit is negligible. So, what is their response? That debt and deficits do not matter because the key now is to spur growth and the cost of borrowing is low despite rising debt.
Furthermore, the Biden administration has been

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Decentralization, Absolutism, and the Papal States

5 days ago

[The Pope Who Would Be King: The Exile of Pius IX and the Emergence of Modern Europe by David Kertzer Random House, 2018 xxx + 474 pages]
Historian David Kertzer made a name for himself with his 1997 book The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara. The book covers the until-then-rarely-mentioned case of an Italian Jewish boy who was illicitly baptized by the housekeeper, and then kidnapped in 1858 by Papal State authorities on the grounds that Jews in the Papal States could not be permitted to raise a Christian child.
Because so few books or in-depth articles have been written on the topic in English, Kertzer now enjoys a position as perhaps the preeminent expert on the case.  This is no small thing since a number of filmmakers—including Steven Spielberg— have expressed interest in dramatizing the

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The Sterility of Intellectual Standardization

5 days ago

Capitalism is increasingly under attack these days by people who claim that it promotes a collapse of moral values, subordinating all else to the pursuit of individual wealth and pleasure. Often these critics demand either the strict supervision of the free market by elite government administrators or its outright replacement by socialism. In this very wide ranging book, Donald Devine responds to this attack.
He is well equipped to do so, owing to his long experience as a political science professor and as a government administrator. He tells us, “Your author comes to the discussion from the academic field of political science and two decades of teaching at the University of Maryland and Bellevue University. One competency was in normal politics, government, and democratic theory, but I

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The Faith of Entrepreneurs

9 days ago

Ludwig von Mises didn’t like references to the “miracle” of the marketplace or the “magic” of production or other terms that suggest that economic systems depend on some force that is beyond human comprehension. In his view, we are better off coming to a rational understanding of why markets are responsible for astounding levels of productivity that can support exponential increases in population and ever higher living standards.
There was no German miracle after World War II, he used to say; the glorious recovery was a result of economic logic working itself out through market forces. Once we understand the relationship between property rights, market prices, the time structure of production, and the division of labor, the mystery evaporates and we observe the science of human action

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No, Conservatives Should Not Embrace MMT

9 days ago

Reading Jonathan Culbreath’s “Modern Monetary Theory for Conservatives” one can’t help but think of Murray Rothbard’s quip that “it is not a crime to be ignorant of economics … but it is totally irresponsible to have a loud and vociferous opinion on economic subjects while remaining in this state of ignorance.“
Culbreath’s case for modern monetary theory (MMT) rests on an ignorance of basic economic principles regarding the role of money in a free market economy. Money—whether precious metals, fiat currency, crypto, or some other good—is more than the unit of account that makes exchange possible. Money is also a key part of the equation of the price system, which allows market participants to discover the highest use of goods and services as determined by the demonstrated preferences

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The American Rescue Plan: Limits of the Highly Visible

9 days ago

“We believe that hindsight will show the champion of head-smacking craziness in the American stock market to be the period playing out right now.”~ Paul Singer, letter to Elliott Management shareholders, January 28, 2021
Who says finance has to be boring? Investing is often like watching paint dry, sometimes terrifying and occasionally exhilarating. Today the stock market is more than fun; it’s a sure thing.
Meanwhile, record stock prices have led to record household net worth ($130.2 trillion at year-end). Not one to let a boom go to waste, the federal government, by way of the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, recently mailed $1,400 checks to each member of the household. Wall Street strategists expect a third of this lucre to find its way into the stock market and the rest spent,

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Bob Murphy on Rothbard’s What Has Government Done to Our Money?

10 days ago

Rothbard called Mises’s The Theory of Money and Credit “the best book on money ever written.” But Rothbard himself may have written the best money book for lay readers, namely What Has Government Done to Our Money? 
Bob Murphy joins the show to discuss this superb and eminently readable tract: a mini-course on money itself, from its origins and uses to its degradation by kings, politicians, and central bankers. In only 119 short pages, Rothbard gives us everything we need to know about this most critical commodity in society—along with the ruinous development of fully fiat (unbacked) state money. Readers also enjoy a brilliant history of money regimes, from early barter to the classical gold standard and the ultimate collapse of the Bretton Woods agreement.
Read this fantastic book for

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The Fundamental Economic Problem with Biden’s Rescue Plan

10 days ago

March 31 gave us a statement on the American Jobs Plan, and April 28 saw President Joe Biden speak on it to the American people (well, roughly 8 percent of the American people). The goal of the law is the following:
While the American Rescue Plan is changing the course of the pandemic and delivering relief for working families, this is no time to build back to the way things were. This is the moment to reimagine and rebuild a new economy. The American Jobs Plan is an investment in America that will create millions of good jobs, rebuild our country’s infrastructure, and position the United States to outcompete China. Public domestic investment as a share of the economy has fallen by more than 40 percent since the 1960s. The American Jobs Plan will invest in America in a way we have not

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Lord Acton: Libertarian Hero

10 days ago

[Originally published April 4, 2006, at LewRockwell.com]
“You would spare these criminals, for some mysterious reason. I would hang them higher than Haman, for reasons of quite obvious justice; still more, still higher, for the sake of historical science.”1
Thus ends a long passage of a letter from John Emerich Edward Dalberg Acton, First Lord Acton (1834–1902) in which appears his famous aphorism regarding power’s tendency to corrupt its possessor. In a few words to a fellow historian, who regarded his critic as the “most learned Englishman now alive,” his vast historical knowledge, passion for justice, and love for his Church are fused and brought to a fine point.2
What revolted Acton, what he devoted his life to exposing, was the rationalization of crime when the criminals are

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Murray Rothbard as a Philosopher

10 days ago

Murray Rothbard was a polymath, and philosophy is one of the fields to which he made important contributions. When people think of him as a philosopher, though, they often have in mind only his work in ethics and political philosophy, found, for example, in The Ethics of Liberty. His work in this area is of great significance, but he wrote about other areas of philosophy as well, and in this week’s article, I’d like to consider an important argument he made in epistemology, the theory of knowledge.
The issue he was concerned with arises in this way. Mises says that economic theory for the most part is known a priori. (I say “for the most part,” because economic theory also includes subsidiary postulates that are not known a priori.) In what follows, I’ll be talking about a priori

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Milton Friedman’s Methodological Mistake

10 days ago

In 1966, famed Chicago School economist Milton Friedman wrote a hugely influential essay on the methodology of economics entitled “The Methodology of Positive Economics” (contained in the volume Essays in Positive Economics). In distinguishing economics as a “positive science”, Friedman focuses on the use of empirical investigation where the “ultimate goal … is the development of a “theory” or, “hypothesis” that yields valid and meaningful (i.e., not truistic) predictions about phenomena not yet observed.” Focusing on prediction rather than explanation of observation presents the first step wrong, but as can be seen later in his essay, Friedman doesn’t even stick to this requirement for prediction, saying that the theorist’s role is in part “to specify the circumstances under which the

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Tobacco Smokers: America’s Most Persecuted Minority

11 days ago

[Editor’s Note: following reports that the Biden administration is planning to ban menthol cigarettes and flavored cigarettes, the following is an article by Murray Rothbard written in August 1994.]
Quick: Which is America’s Most Persecuted Minority? No, you’re wrong. (And it’s not Big Business either: one of Ayn Rand’s more ludicrous pronouncements.)
All right, consider this: Which group has been increasingly illegalized, shamed and denigrated first by the Establishment, and then, following its lead, by society at large? Which group, far from coming out of the “closet,” has been literally forced back into the closet after centuries of walking proudly in the public square? And which group has tragically internalized the value-system of its oppressors, so that they are deeply ashamed and

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La derecha americana es el nuevo objetivo de la «guerra contra el terror» de Washington

11 days ago

By: Tho Bishop
Puede que los muros de seguridad que rodean el Capitolio de EEUU hayan sido retirados, pero la respuesta federal a las protestas del 6 de enero no ha hecho más que empezar. Los demócratas de Washington están decididos a tratar el incidente como si se tratara de los sucesos del 11 de septiembre, lo que puede explicar un inquietante informe sobre el posible uso de la famosa lista de exclusión aérea.

Ayer, Nick Fuentes, un experto en medios sociales de derechas que asistió a las protestas del 6 de enero en la capital, alegó que había sido incluido en la lista federal de exclusión aérea, lo que le impedía viajar a Florida para asistir a un mitin político. Aunque el Sr. Fuentes compartió en las redes sociales el audio de un empleado de la aerolínea sugiriendo que su restricción

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Local Nullification: A Way to Fight Both State and Federal Despots

11 days ago

Throughout American history, decentralists have championed “states’ rights” as the winning strategy for freedom, but what if that’s not enough? After all, states, in many cases, have themselves become instruments of grave tyranny. What are citizens to do when their own state governments impose onerous restrictions, regulations, and mandates upon them? In recent years, the answer has become clear: local governments can interpose themselves between the citizens and the state government by refusing to uphold unjust laws. Just as states can nullify federal laws, localities can nullify state laws. This offers a way for even very small pockets of the population to defend their natural rights when they’ve been imperiled—a valuable strategy for the modern age.
Local Governments Can Resist State

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Vengeance and Sacrifice: Whiteness as Scapegoat in Critical Race Theory and Critical Whiteness Studies

11 days ago

The usual criticisms of critical race theory (CRT) have become patent and cliché by now. CRT essentializes race and those within races, figuring all white people as racist and all black people oppressed. It treats people not as individuals with individual motives and goals but strictly as members of their racial group. It denies individual agency to the very people it aims to liberate. It implies that racial group membership determines the beliefs and behaviors of those within said groups, curtailing an appreciation of their full humanity. It ascribes all outcomes to racial group membership, thereby denying merit to those in the “dominant” category (whites), while denying responsibility to those in the “subordinated” categories (blacks, indigenous, and people of color, or BIPOC). It makes

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The American Right is the New Target of Washington’s “War on Terror”

12 days ago

By: Tho Bishop
The security walls around the US Capitol may be removed, but the federal response to the January 6 protests has only just begun. The Democrats in Washington are determined to treat the incident as on par with the events of September 11, which may explain a troubling report about the potential use of the famed No Fly List.

Yesterday Nick Fuentes, a right-wing social media pundit who attended the January 6 protests in the capital, alleged that he has been placed on the federal no-fly list, preventing him from traveling to Florida for a political rally. While Mr. Fuentes shared on social media audio of an airline employee suggesting that his flying restriction did come from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), later that night Tucker Carlson informed his audience

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The Bureaucrat as a Voter

12 days ago

The bureaucrat is not only a government employee. He is, under a democratic constitution, at the same time a voter and as such a part of the sovereign, his employer. He is in a peculiar position: he is both employer and employee. And his pecuniary interest as employee towers above his interest as employer, as he gets much more from the public funds than he contributes to them.
This double relationship becomes more important as the people on the government’s payroll increase. The bureaucrat as voter is more eager to get a raise than to keep the budget balanced. His main concern is to swell the payroll.
The political structure of Germany and France, in the last years preceding the fall of their democratic constitutions, was to a very great extent influenced by the fact that for a

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«Inflación transitoria» es la nueva frase de moda en la Fed

12 days ago

By: Robert Aro
Con el Comité Federal de Mercado Abierto (FOMC) de abril y la conferencia de prensa del miércoles a continuación, podemos anticipar algunas de las palabras clave que escucharemos de la Fed. La primera, cada vez más popular, es la «inflación transitoria», o la idea de que algunas subidas de precios son sólo de carácter temporal…

El mes pasado la palabra surgió tras la reunión de marzo del FOMC. El viernes la CNBC escribió sobre la impermanencia de la inflación, anticipando:

se espera que la Fed defienda su política de dejar que la inflación se caliente, al tiempo que asegura a los mercados que considera que el repunte de los precios es sólo temporal.

Si los cálculos de la inflación muestran aumentos en un futuro próximo (o si más gente se da cuenta de su pérdida de poder

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